When we think of Grand Seiko, it’s easy to associate them with classic but slightly left-of-centre designs: architectural case lines and instantly recognisable designs. Which is why this watch was such a surprise when we first saw it — it’s a deeply traditional dress watch design. A simple round case, in yellow gold no less (though there are steel and platinum versions too), seems like it’s from a different time, which makes perfect sense, as the watch, the SBGW252, is a re-creation of the first Grand Seiko from 1960.
And of all the versions, this yellow gold number has to be the closest to that 1960 original, and not just because of the yellow gold case material. The creamy opaline dial, simple double baton hour markers and shining gold dauphine hands all paint a picture of mid-century modishness. The very slim alligator strap is also stylistically apt.
It’s important to note that while the SBGW252 looks like it might be from 1960, it’s been updated where it counts. The glass is sapphire, the case is a slightly larger-than-original 38mm, and the movement is the manually wound 9S64.
Grand Seiko re-creation in yellow gold, ref. SBGW252, Australian pricing and availability
Grand Seiko re-creation in yellow gold, SBGW252, limited to 353 pieces, $25,200